The other day i was called a Metrosexual. Not the first time this has happened. i’m never sure how to take it. Should i be offended or flattered? The woman who termed me such is very attractive, tall and slender (I’m not sure why I’m pointing this out, perhaps to gird my masculinity). Without prompting, she offered her characterization, noting that i’m very professional, clean, in great physical shape, well-groomed, intelligent, have great fashion sense, and good taste in general. She just described the stereotypical gay man. Here is where i profoundly pronounce that i’m not gay. So is a metrosexual a homosexual who is heterosexual? i’m confused. i’m sure my homosexual friends will help me out on this.

i’ve heard many people describe metrosexuals in different ways. i remember reading a blog about it last year and distinctly muttering in my mind that the author was definitely convoluting metrosexuals with scenesters and emo poseurs. Not that i have a better handle on it. But he was certainly off. A quick internet search popped up photos of Brad Pitt, Justin Timberlake, Ben Afleck, Jude Law, and David Beckham (i feel better already).

i looked up metrosexual in Merriam-Webster. It’s there. So why does my word processor keep underlining it in red?

METROSEXUAL: a usually urban heterosexual male given to enhancing his personal appearance by fastidious grooming, beauty treatments, and fashionable clothes.

So let’s see how this works:

“A usually urban…”
i always picture a metrosexual being on the cutting edge of urbane living, hosting kitschy parties in a sprawling loft that overlooks the trendiest eateries and shops of a bustling metropolis. i, however, live in the deep suburbs. i like to refer to it as the outskirts of civilization. A major supermarket is just half mile down the road. Heading half mile in the other direction is nothing but cow pastures. This is of particular excitement when the wind is blowing my way from the dairy. But the definition does modify “urban” with “usually.” So i could give in to that i am the unusual exception.

“…heterosexual male…”

i am heterosexual, in case i had not already clarified. i’m distinctly male as well. This brings a point i’ve been pondering. If the terms heterosexual and homosexual encompass both genders, why does metrosexual exclusively define males? Chew on that and spit it back to me if you have any insights (…or outsights).

“…given to enhancing his personal appearance by fastidious grooming, beauty treatments…”

i am well-groomed, but it isn’t a chore (Pretty easy when you’re bald. By the way … she did say, “bald is sexy”). i shower daily; brush my teeth regularly (Mom and Dad paid a fortune for my braces. i owe them that much); and work out and eat right to maintain good health. It seems these are the basics we were all taught by well-meaning parents when we were youngsters and have kept up into maturity.

i don’t enhance my personal appearance otherwise. i don’t color my hair (The little I do have is salt and pepper and kept very short), i have never had a mani or pedi or even been in such an establishment that offers them. i don’t use skin care products unless it says SPF 75 on the bottle and then it’s applied rigorously to my bare scalp. i hate to shave and only do so if the situation warrants it.

“…and fashionable clothes.”

When it comes to fashion…  i may be guilty. i do admire the cut of nice Kenneth Cole ensemble. Do i look good in a suit? No cat calls coming my way, but i’ve never had any complaints. i dress for comfort or the occasion. When i consulted/educated in the legal field i wore suits everyday (ties are so uncomfortably restricting, but there are so many cool ones). It’s professional and it makes me feel empowered. And it may even get me what i want. However, i prefer jeans or cargo shorts over suit and tie any day.

i really don’t care if i’m labeled metro, hetro, boomer, genX, etc. However, i do care to be known as a person who loves others well: My family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and even strangers, no matter their status, profession, orientation, age, race, religion …Love them well.

With all that said, it appears my scales may be tipping metrosexual. So let me hear from you: How else would you describe metrosexual? Can you be metrosexual and a Christian? Does the term “metrosexual” have negative or positive connotations? What defines a female metrosexual?

~End denial